§ MR. GRAY
asked the President of the Local Government Board, Whether, in view of the existence of cholera in France, this Country is "threatened with a formidable epidemic disease" within the meaning of the Public Health Act; and, whether it is the intention of the Local Government Board to immediately make regulations under the Public Health Act—For the promotion of cleansing, ventilation, and disinfection, and the guarding against the spread of disease?
MR. GEORGE RUSSELL
The President of the Local Government Board has asked me to answer this Question. At present we do not consider that this country is, for the purpose of the Public Health Act, 1875, threatened with a formidable epidemic disease. Orders made under Section 130 of that Act are now in force, and they will avail for dealing with any case of cholera that may chance to be brought into English ports. The Sanitary Authorities already possess very large powers for securing the cleansing, ventilation, and disinfection of premises, and for dealing with ordinary infectious disease; and it is, of course, very desirable that the authorities should use these powers to the utmost; but at the present moment it does not seem necessary to put in force the exceptional provisions of Section 134.
§ In reply to Mr. MONTAGUE GUEST,
MR. GEORGE RUSSELL
said, the attention of the Board had been directed to a telegram stating that a steamer from Lisbon to Cardiff was reported to have two cases of cholera on board. They had telegraphed to the Local Authorities pointing out that this was one of the cases in which the special regulations were applicable, and asking them to apply them. The regulations would prevent anyone landing from the vessel without the permission of the authorities.
§ MR. GRAY
said, that if the country was unfortunately visited with cholera, he would ask again for the information which the hon. Gentleman now said was confidential. He would ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, as President of the Irish Local Government Board, Whether, in view of the existence of cholera in France, Ireland is "threatened with a formidable epidemic disease" within the meaning of the Public Health Act; whether it is the intention of the Local Government Board to make regulations under the Public Health Act—For the promotion of cleansing, ventilation, and disinfection, and guarding against the spread of disease;and, whether the Board will promptly notify to the Irish sanitary authorities how they intend to exercise in each case the powers conferred upon them by the third section of the Epidemic and other Diseases Prevention Act, 1883, so that the sanitary authorities may have timely notice of their responsibilities in the event of an outbreak of cholera unfortunately occurring in that Country?
§ MR. TREVELYAN
The Local Government Board do not think that at present Ireland is threatened with cholera in such a manner as to render it necessary to issue special regulations under the 149th Section of the Public Health Act for the prevention of the spread of infectious disease—namely, by arrangements for the speedy interment of the dead, house-to-house visitation, &c. The Board will take care to give timely notice to the Sanitary Authorities, on whom it will devolve to carry out the provisions of that enactment, should it become necessary to make an order under the 3rd section of the Act of last year to which the hon. Member refers.